Buon Natale: Italian-style Christmas

| Dec 15, 2016

Buon Natale: Italian-style Christmas

The Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo is offering delectable Christmas menus at its three restaurants: Italian restaurant Piacere, The Lobby Lounge and Japanese restaurant Nadaman. At Piacere, three different Christmas menus are offered: Natale Brunch on Christmas day, Natale Dinner from Dec. 23 to Dec. 25 ...

Celebrate Christmas in style

| Dec 8, 2016

Celebrate Christmas in style

This winter, the Hyatt Regency is offering the “Luxury Christmas Spa Pair Package” through Dec. 25. Guests are given three luxurious opportunities under the plan priced at ¥150,000 for two (including tax and service charge). First is a heavenly 120-minute spa treatment at “Spa ...

Graves and gods of Otsuka

| Nov 26, 2016

Graves and gods of Otsuka

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It’s a bright fall morning when I return to Gokokuji Temple, an Important Cultural Property in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward. Exiting Gokokuji Station, it only takes me a few minutes to find the two monks who promised to help me when I visited here earlier: ...

An eerie calm on the dark side of Shibuya

| Nov 19, 2016

An eerie calm on the dark side of Shibuya

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There are many versions of Shibuya. There is one that you see in tourist guides of crowded streets, and another that’s less photographed: for every 10,000 photos of the Shibuya’s famous scramble there are only a handful showing someone walking empty streets. I remember ...

A new luxury hotel — in Fukushima?

Nov 12, 2016

A new luxury hotel — in Fukushima?

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On March 11, 2011, the residents of Fukushima Prefecture felt the earth shake as a massive quake struck off the northeastern coast of Japan. But few could have predicted the explosions that would later follow or that the reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 ...

Cakes offer Christmas cheer

| Nov 10, 2016

Cakes offer Christmas cheer

The Hyatt Regency Tokyo is offering seven varieties of the hotel’s original Christmas cakes that have always captured the hearts of many. The new creation for 2016 by Koichi Sato, the pastry and bakery chef, is the 40 cm-high Christmas tree (¥17,000 for one ...

Kofu: the mountain fortress of warlord Takeda Shingen

Nov 5, 2016

Kofu: the mountain fortress of warlord Takeda Shingen

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In Akira Kurosawa’s classic 1980 film “Kagemusha” (“Shadow Warrior”), the 16th-century daimyo Takeda Shingen is mortally wounded by a sniper after being lured by the sound of a flute during a castle siege. Takeda’s clan know that rival warlords Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu ...